–Traditional rulers in Luwingu district in the Northern Province have appealed to the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to quickly remit salaries and wages for the months of May and June.
Chief Katuta of the Abena-mukulu in Lupososhi Constituency complained that chiefs in the district have not received their salaries and wages for May and June, making them to become vagabonds in their respective chiefdoms.
The traditional ruler said this when Luwingu District Commissioner, Mambwe Katontoka and district subordinate court magistrate, Davy Simfukwe, paid a courtesy call at his palace yesterday when they went to inspect the newly constructed Katuta local court in the area.
Chief Katuta complained that the delay in paying the chiefs salaries and wages is making them to be looked at as if they are beggars. “Kanshi tule lomba-lomba fyakulya ku Bantu (we are just asking for food from our subjects)” he said.
And on matters of development the traditional ruler said people in his area are happy with the developmental projects which are going on in his area.
He said the area has benefited from the PF government such as the construction of two local courts in Katuta’s at the palace and at Chibaye village, about 130 and 156km respectively.
The 73-year-old traditional ruler said he had again released over 40 hectares of land for the construction of a secondary school in his area.
He praised the PF government and appealed to President Michael Sata to continue with his spirit of upgrading government infrastructure, adding that the country has lagged behind in infrastructural development.
Chief Katuta said people in his area are overwhelmed by the pronouncements made by Northern Province Minister, Obby Chisala, that government will soon start grading the 130km Musele-Katuta-Sobingi road to ease transportation of people and agricultural produce to and from his area.
And the District Commissioner, Mambwe Katontoka, explained to the chief why government has removed fuel and maize subsidies, saying its aim is to channel the funds to the projects such the ones chief Katuta was experiencing in his area.
She said for many years the people in remote areas of the country have not benefited from the national cake, adding that only people in urban areas were benefiting from the subsidies.
Mrs Katontoka appealed to the traditional ruler not to listen to disgruntled politicians who are going round spreading fake rumours about subsidies.
She further said government will soon start construction of a general hospital in Lupososhi constituency in Senior Chieftainess Chungu’s area.
“My government will soon start construction of a general hospital in Lupososhi Constituency in Senior Chieftainess Chungu,” she said.
Meanwhile, Magistrate Davy Simfukwe has appealed to local court staff to respect traditional rulers and work hand in hand for the area to achieve the much-needed development.
Mr Simfukwe said he will not take kindly to any erring officer who will be reported insulting and undermining traditional rulers, adding that local courts are there to interpret traditional norms.
He urged the officers to always consult the chiefs in matters of tradition as they were the custodian of traditional law.
“As you may be aware local courts originated from a traditional point of view and you officers need to work hand in hand with the traditional leaders,” he said.
The magistrate was reacting to the complaints raised by Chief Katuta that some officers at the newly built local court were disrespectful of the traditional rulers in his area.
Mr Simfukwe said officers should at all times respect traditional rulers who are the custodians of the land and the people they were presiding over.